Pioneer League (baseball)

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Pioneer League (baseball)
Pioneer League logo
Sport Baseball
Founded 1939
No. of teams 8
Country USA
Most recent champion(s) Missoula Osprey (2015)
Most titles Billings Mustangs (15)
Official website

The Pioneer League is a minor league baseball league which currently operates in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. In the past, it also operated in adjoining portions of Canada. It is classified as a Rookie league, and is almost exclusively the first professional league in which many players compete; most of the players have just been signed out of high school. The Pioneer League is a short-season league operating from June to early September.

Along with the Appalachian League, it forms the second-lowest rung on the minor league ladder. Although classified as a Rookie league, the level of play is slightly higher than that of the two "complex" Rookie leagues, the Gulf Coast League and Arizona League. Unlike these two leagues, Pioneer League games charge admission and sell concessions.

The Pioneer League began in 1939 with six teams in Idaho and Utah. With players in short supply due to World War II, the league suspended operations for the 1943 through 1945 seasons. In 1948, the league expanded into Montana. At that time, several of the teams were operating as minor league affiliates of Pacific Coast League teams, which were unsuccessfully trying to grow into a major league. When the Los Angeles Dodgers displaced the Hollywood Stars PCL team, they moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, taking away the Pioneer League's largest market. By 1959, the league was down to six teams, and by 1964, there were only four. By the end of the 1970s there were eight teams, a number that remains to this day and is not likely to change without further expansion or contraction within Major League Baseball.

In 2015, total league attendance was 633,622.[1]

Current teams

Division Team MLB Affiliation City Stadium Capacity
Northern Billings Mustangs Cincinnati Reds Billings, Montana Dehler Park 5,000
Great Falls Voyagers Chicago White Sox Great Falls, Montana Centene Stadium 2,500
Helena Brewers Milwaukee Brewers Helena, Montana Kindrick Legion Field 2,010
Missoula Osprey Arizona Diamondbacks Missoula, Montana Ogren Park at Allegiance Field 3,500
Southern Grand Junction Rockies Colorado Rockies Grand Junction, Colorado Suplizio Field 7,014
Idaho Falls Chukars Kansas City Royals Idaho Falls, Idaho Melaleuca Field 3,400
Ogden Raptors Los Angeles Dodgers Ogden, Utah Lindquist Field 8,262
Orem Owlz Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Orem, Utah Brent Brown Ballpark 5,000

Current team rosters

Pioneer League teams (1939–present)

League champions

Year Champion Runner-up Finals
1939 Twin Falls Cowboys
1940 Ogden Reds
1941 Ogden Reds
1942 Pocatello Cardinals
1943 Not in operation
1944 Not in operation
1945 Not in operation
1946 Salt Lake City Bees
1947 Twin Falls Cowboys
1948 Twin Falls Cowboys
1949 Pocatello Cardinals
1950 Billings Mustangs
1951 Great Falls Electrics
1952 Idaho Falls Russets
1953 Salt Lake City Bees
1954 Great Falls Electrics
1955 Magic Valley Cowboys
1956 Boise Braves
1957 Billings Mustangs
1958 Boise Braves
1959 Billings Mustangs
1960 Boise Braves
1961 Great Falls Electrics
1962 Billings Mustangs
1963 Idaho Falls Yankees
1964 Treasure Valley Cubs
1965 Treasure Valley Cubs
1966 Ogden Dodgers
1967 Ogden Dodgers
1968 Ogden Dodgers
1969 Ogden Dodgers
1970 Idaho Falls Angels
1971 Great Falls Giants
1972 Billings Mustangs
1973 Billings Mustangs
1974 Idaho Falls Angels
1975 Great Falls Giants
1976 Great Falls Giants
1977 Lethbridge Dodgers
1978 Billings Mustangs Idaho Falls Angels 2–0
1979 Lethbridge Dodgers Helena Brewers 2–0
1980 Lethbridge Dodgers Billings Mustangs 2–1
1981 Butte Copper Kings Calgary Expos 3–2
1982 Medicine Hat Blue Jays Idaho Falls A’s 3–1
1983 Billings Mustangs Calgary Expos 3–1
1984 Helena Gold Sox Billings Mustangs 3–1
1985 Salt Lake City Trappers Great Falls Dodgers 3–2
1986 Salt Lake City Trappers Great Falls Dodgers 3–1
1987 Salt Lake City Trappers Helena Brewers 3–1
1988 Great Falls Dodgers Butte Copper Kings 3–2
1989 Great Falls Dodgers Butte Copper Kings 3–0
1990 Great Falls Dodgers Salt Lake City Trappers 3–0
1991 Salt Lake City Trappers Great Falls Dodgers 2–1
1992 Billings Mustangs Salt Lake City Trappers 2–0
1993 Billings Mustangs Helena Brewers 2–1
1994 Billings Mustangs Helena Brewers 3–2
1995 Helena Brewers Medicine Hat Blue Jays 2–0
1996 Helena Brewers Ogden Raptors 2–0
1997 Billings Mustangs Great Falls Dodgers 2–0
1998 Idaho Falls Braves Lethbridge Mounties 2–1
1999 Missoula Osprey Billings Mustangs 2–0
2000 Idaho Falls Padres Great Falls Dodgers 2–0
2001 Billings Mustangs Provo Angels 2–0
2002 Great Falls Dodgers Provo Angels 2–1
2003 Billings Mustangs Provo Angels 2–0
2004 Provo Angels Billings Mustangs 2–0
2005 Orem Owlz Helena Brewers 2–0
2006 Missoula Osprey Idaho Falls Chukars 2–0
2007 Orem Owlz Great Falls White Sox 2–0
2008 Great Falls Voyagers Orem Owlz 2–1
2009 Orem Owlz Missoula Osprey 2–1
2010 Helena Brewers Ogden Raptors 2–0
2011 Great Falls Voyagers Ogden Raptors 2–0
2012 Missoula Osprey Ogden Raptors 2–1
2013 Idaho Falls Chukars Helena Brewers 2–1
2014 Billings Mustangs Orem Owlz 2–0
2015 Missoula Osprey Idaho Falls Chukars 2–1


  1. "Pioneer League: Attendance". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved 23 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links